At 24 weeks into my twin pregnancy, I was rushed to the hospital with bleeding and preterm labor. Doctors determined that Madison was showing signs of distress. The neonatologists provided me with stats on viability at 24 weeks and the medical complications that could arise should the twins come this early. Thankfully, I did not go into full labor and Madison’s heart rate returned to normal. However, I continued to experience contractions and the medical team could not determine the source of my bleeding. At the same time, Madison had been diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction. I remained in the hospital hoping to get the twins to 33 weeks before delivering.
When the twins were 27 weeks and five days old, and I had been in the hospital on total bedrest for 22 days, the nurses came running in to put me on oxygen. Madison’s heart rate was dropping and did not recover as quickly as they wanted. The doctors determined that for Madison to survive, we would have to deliver the twins via emergency c-section that day. Madison weighed 1 pound 2 ounces and was only 10 1/2 inches long. She was placed on a ventilator immediately as she was not able to breath on her own. Her brother Joshua weighed 2 pounds 1 ounce, was 14 inches long, and required oxygen support as well. While in the NICU, Madison received medication several times to close her patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), blood transfusions, and several rounds of antibiotics to fight off infections. She remained on the ventilator for five weeks and after a short course of steroids, she was able to breathe without support. After 75 days in the NICU, Madison came home. Both she and her brother were discharged on oxygen support, which continued for several months thereafter. Since their early arrival, we have seen more doctors, experts, and therapists than I can count. Madison has been diagnosed with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Chronic Lung Disease, and Apraxia among other conditions.